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198               . HISTORY OF PERSIA
His Birth in A.H. 736 (1335) and his Early Tears.—
The historians of Tamerlane trace his descent from a
certain Karachar Khan, a vizier in the service of Chagatay,
who was connected with his master's family. This
genealogy is disputed, but its correctness is of little
importance. We know that he was the son of Amir
Turghay, chief of the Gurkan branch of the Barlas, a
noble Turkish tribe, and nephew of Haji Barlas. From an
early age he showed unusual promise both in the council
chamber and in the field, where he served with distinction
under Amir Kazghan, notably in Khorasan. He was also
remarkable for his skill and endurance in the pursuit of
game, resembling in this respect Alexander the Great.
His Submission to Tughluk Timur Khan.—Tamerlane,
by the death of his father, had recently become the head of
his family at the time of the flight of Haji Barlas, and
this event proved a crisis in the life of the young Amir.
As the Tarikh-i-Rashidi runs :
His father was dead and his uncle had fled ;
The people were exposed to the ravages of a, stranger.
Its enemies had placed the tribe in danger :
It was become as an eagle without wings or feathers.
To save the situation, Tamerlane decided to tender
his submission to Tughluk Timur Khan, by whom he
was received with much distinction and appointed Governor
of Transoxiana. In the following year the Khan of Jatah
obtained possession of Samarcand and appointed his son
Khoja Ilias Oghlan to the governorship of Transoxiana
with the young Tamerlane as his councillor, although
a certain Amir Begjit was given the supreme authority.
Intrigues naturally followed, with the result that Tamer-
lane was obliged to flee from Samarcand.
His Early Wanderings.—Being pursued, he turned on
his enemies and defeated them. Then with but a handful
of men he sought out his brother-in-law Amir Husayn,
the grandson of Amir Kazghan, who had recently been
beaten by Tughluk Timur and was wandering in the
desert. Together the two adventurers proceeded to
Khiva, where the Governor attempted to seize them by